Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Communists Choking

Stratfor is arguing that China has two economies: State Owned Enterprises (SOE) and import/export industries. State Owned Enterprises are huge corporations which employ a lot Chinese but lose money, and suck up massive subsidies from the Central Banks/Chinese Communists. The import/export companies do marginally better, but rely on ridiculously cheap labor and large loans to pay operating expenses. To stay in business much longer, all these companies are going to need more capital from foreign banks which are going to order downsizing and layoffs in exchange for loans. The Banks have been ordered to loan money to companies with no ability or even intention to pay it back. The size of these outstanding, non-performing loans equals around half of Chinese GDP and no foreign bank is willing to buy this debt, even at a massive discount, unless they are allowed to foreclose and start selling assets. What happens when domestic capital dries up and there is no foreign capital to replace it with the same terms? Ask your great-grandparents what is was like in the depression.

However, the status quo is not tenable over the long run. The Chinese Communists, to keep up with Taiwan, agreed to join WTO. Part of the agreement was to open domestic banking to competition by December 2006. Capital will flee China once savers can opt for interest bearing foreign accounts, which will further lessen the supply of capital in China. Industries, unable to get loans from friendly Chinese banks will be forced to accept terms from foreign banks that will result in layoffs and take-overs. Massive unemployment and concomitant social unrest will result.

The Communists are already trying to innoculate themselves from the upheaval that will put their hold on power at risk. Hence, the Communists are trying to pick a fight in Taiwan and are complaining about American and Muslim aggression on their Western Frontier. The Communists are going to abrogate their responsibilities under WTO, blame the resulting economic displacement on some combination of America, Taiwan and their Muslim minorities and start a war. They are like a gambler short of chips, but big on bluster who is going to bet all on a bluff. When George Bush calls them on it, look for war.

Monday, March 28, 2005

The Long Awaited Junior Brown Lyrics

This is one that I keep on my MP3. One of my all time favorites, and you get to hear Junior's wife sing. She has a classic country voice and really makes this one as poignant as it is.

So Close Yet So Far Away
(J. Brown) Copyright © 1993 Mike Curb Music/Jamieson Brown Music (BMI) All rights reserved / Used by permission

We’ve survived the storms of life
Through all kinds of weather
And we’re as close as two sweethearts could be
But we’re a husband and a wife
Who can’t be together
When there’s a thousand miles distance between you and me

Cause I need you here more than I need these tears
The more you’re gone the more I miss you every day
Until I’m holding you tight there won’t be nothing right
When we’re so close, yet so far away

When I’m so tired of being alone
And I call you on the phone
For the moment it’s like you’re right here with me
And the miles that we’re apart
They stop breaking my heart
How far away yet how much closer
Two sweethearts be

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Terri Schiavo

It is terrible that this woman is being starved to death with no one being allowed to offer her water or food. If she can swallow her own saliva, she can swallow water. Not to offer it to her is just barbarism.

This is especially poignant this Easter weekend, in which we relive the time in which the legalists could hide behind the "law" to kill someone troublesome to them.

This dispute is less about the wishes of Terri Shiavo, but instead has become a test of wills between the two sides, and the judge. Money is not the motive, the right to die with dignity is not a motive for the husband, but he is out to WIN. It is like a contentious divorce, in which the sides use the battle over the house or welfare of the children as a proxy for the battle to triumph over one another. At this point, the husband is fighting to win and that is what is driving him. When a stubborn man wants to win, when that desire is truly down deep in his soul, then nothing will stand in his way. And he will exult over the corpse that represents his victory over opponents.

Finally, I admire the tenacity of the parents who are fighting for the life of their daughter. It is apparent that they will lose this battle, and their daughter will die. They and those who support them and their daughter are right to be outraged that the state has arrayed against them to murder their daughter. I find myself fighting despair and depression over this, so their pain must be infintely greater. God will have his vengeance on those who have conspired to murder this poor woman. However, we must find a way to forgive those who torment us because ultimately, death, even the judicially sanctioned murder of an innocent like Terri, is not to be feared. The reward she will receive will make the pain she and her family and supporters are experiencing now as a finger snap.

God bless and keep you Terri, and may God forgive your tormentors who seek and will exult at your death.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Twinkies are Tasty!

Sorry that I have not posted much lately. I went TAD, then I came back and had appendicitis, and now, I am too down about the Terri Shaivo business to get motivated to write. But, I feel the juices flowing, and I think that I will posting more in the near future. Came back often!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Chinsese as a Morphemematic vs Ideogramatic Language

I read an outstanding article last night. The author, John DeFrancis, argues that Chinese writing is made up of characters that represent sounds instead of the misconception that Chinese writing is actually just small pictures that represent thoughts. English has letters that do not mean anything, nor are they recognizable as pictures. Chinese, on the other hand, features writing which, in some cases, looks like the thought that it conveys. For example 林 "lin" means "forest." This makes sense, the character actually looks like a couple of trees. The character also means "many."

Chinese may have begun as small pictures to represent objects, but it changed over time so that the pictures represented sounds that could be linked together to form words. The example that DeFrancis gives is what we call in English, a "rebus." A rebus is a series of pictures, which, when their names are spoken aloud, form a sentence with a meaning that would never be suggested just by looking at the pictures. Look at the rebus about halfway down the article. "EYE" "CAN" "SEA" "EWE" I can see you. With simple, easily recognizable pictures, an artist (and later a writer) could transmit complex thoughts. So it was with Chinese.

A fascinating article.

Someone Tell Tom Friedman to Get a New Job

Thomas Friedman might as well yell in a bucket as write a column. How dumb is this latest idea of his?

I say that if China wants an arms race, we should have a by-God arms race. We should give Japan the full suite of Aegis software, and sell Aegis to Taiwan and Korea, give Taiwan some more AMRAAM and sail a carrier into Kaoshiung. Ratchet the pressure on those Communist bastards until their industry and banking implode and they have 500 million angry unemployed braying for the blood of the Buthchers of Beijing.

Effete Manhattanites might applaud Tom Friedman with little golf claps when he publishes his pap, but the rest of us would do well to line a birdcage with his columns. What China needs is an arms race that will bankrupt the "Middle Kingdom" and bring it to its knees so that America and the democracies of Asia can deliver the killing blow.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The End Is Near

Not for Taiwan, but for the Chinese communists. Check out the latest "law" that is coming out of the "Chinese Parliament." According to the Chinese functionary holding the title of Foreign Minister "...draft legislation provides for the use of force 'in the event that the Taiwan independence forces should act under any name or by any means to cause the fact of Taiwan's secession from China'".


China is still acting as though it is business as usual in the world but maybe they should look around. The US and Japan have pledged to defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack. And President Bush is now issuing ultimata to dictators, the most intelligent of whom are heeding his wishes. China had better get on board, and find some way to peacefully coexist with Taiwan, without periodically resorting to schoolyard-bully-quality threats. Taiwan now has a protector who is not intimidated by the big Chinese bully.